Caractérisation et modélisation micromécanique du comportement des alliages métalliques à l’état semi-solide pour la simulation du thixoforgeage des aciers

Abstract : Semi-solid metals and alloys exhibit a shear thinning behavior characterized by a sharp drop in viscosity with increasing strain rate. This property promotes a smooth die filling during forming. To exploit this advantage, several semi-solid forming process have been developed. Among these processes, we find the thixoforging when the semi-solid state is obtained by a partial remelting from solid state. The solid fraction is above 0.8. Thixoforging of high melting point alloys such as steels is particularly challenging because of about 1400°C temperatures involved. However, previous works showed that this process reveals high potential to reduce material as well as energy consumption. The present PhD thesis is part of a French research project named TACA «Thixoforging of steels for fabrication of automative parts» leaded by IRT-M2P. It aims at industrial development of steel thixoforging for manufacturing automotive components. The mastery and the development of steel thixoforging require a good knowledge of the mechanical behavior of semi-solid steels and appropriate numerical tools to simulate the process. The PhD work aims to (1) characterize the thermomechanical behavior of semi-solid steels and (2) develop constitutive equations that have to be implemented into the commercial code FORGE® to simulate thixoforging. A special attention was paid to the tensile behavior to investigate the temperature range in which the material is very sensitive to hot cracking. Tensile tests provided the temperature from which the material lost its tensile strength and its ductility. Mechanisms leading to the drop of these two properties were identified and were found to be consistent with mechanisms described in literature. A model based on homogenization approach, namely taking explicitly into account the mechanical role of the liquid and solid phases was developed. This model is based on a viscoplastic approach previously developed that was enhanced to (1) include the elastic response of the solid skeleton saturated with liquid and to (2) distinguish the evolution of the spatial liquid/solid distribution according to the tensile or compressive loading path. It successfully describes the three stages of the response in tension: increase, stabilization and decrease of the stress with increasing displacement. The model was implemented in the FORGE® finite element code. The experimental tensile tests were simulated to provide identification of the model parameters. The simulation results showed that strong deformation localization zones were predicted consistently with experiments. Simulations of thixoforging industrial processes such as forging U were studied and compared with experimental results achieved on the Vulcan platform (ENSAM Metz). In addition, a criterion determining the zones without any tensile strength and so sensitive to hot cracking was proposed. Comparison with experimental observations showed that this criterion is an encouraging first approach to predict the brittle zones of thixoforging parts.
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Khalil Traidi. Caractérisation et modélisation micromécanique du comportement des alliages métalliques à l’état semi-solide pour la simulation du thixoforgeage des aciers. Mécanique des matériaux [physics.class-ph]. Ecole nationale supérieure d'arts et métiers - ENSAM, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016ENAM0048⟩. ⟨tel-01538591⟩

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